Flat Screen? Or Big Screen? To Buy a Movie Online or See it at The Theater?

Listen Media Mavens and Masters: The new way to watch your favorite TV show or film is ONLINE with emissions-free, one-click buying.  It’s faster and, well, just cooler.  The alternative?  Waiting IN LINE at a movie theater after having to drive all the way there.  (Chumps!)  Unless you’re on a second date or have young children or a senior discount card, then—let’s be real—having actually to put on shoes, socks pants, and (Lord, forbid!) accessories seems like a waste of time.  I’d much rather be sprawled out on my couch in pajamas, than having just spent all this time to figure out what to wear, only to find a leg-restrictive seat and sit in a darkened room for three hours (where no one will see my clothing anyway)—I don’t even want to discuss cold weather, uncomfortable bulky jackets, or a belts that are too-tight.


Going to the theater means wasting gas money and time in traffic, then having to waste some more time (and build up some more pent-up resentment/anger/frustration, as you wait) at the theater to buy tickets.   - When you consider the expense of feeling like a piece of cattle, while awkwardly waiting between cheap plastic ropes, then the exhilaration of seeing a film at a genuine theater loses its sex appeal and its allure; the costs become pretty steep, even before you see the actual prices.  And—"oh yay!," you have a group of friends with you?  ...Lets penalize you by forcing you all to purchase multiple tickets, as opposed to one lump total of a ticket—which is what occurs with an online purchase, it's a purchase that you make, have for life, and then benefit from being able to enjoy again and again . . .  with as many people as you choose!   Another benefit of being home is the “pause button,” which puts you in control, making you the master of your own domain.  Bathroom breaks or snuggle sessions?  Sure, no problem!  And, again, if you miss anything, you don't need to feel resentful at that annoyingly talkative friend and say husshhh!!!  Shhhhh!!!  When you purchase (access to) video content, everything is cool, daddyo—no worries!  You can always just rewind or watch it again—maybe even the moment that person leaves.  


At movie theaters, the aroma of butter-flavored popcorn whets the appetite and permeates the air: but this salty snack with no inherent nutritional value (no protein or vitamins) is slathered with oil, like the majority of concession stand food.  So—since they don’t have the film at home to watch again—theaters basically waste money, time, promote obesity, and encourage people to come back.  Wow, those companies have a good business model.  An average large popcorn costs $8; for the same $8 would being able to buy 12 bags of the leading home-microwaved box brand, not to mention how (at home) you can prepare healthy options to eat and snack on during the movie.


With online, streaming services: you click, buy, and finish—and voila!, for perpetuity, you have a film to watch again and again!  - You can enjoy the hilarity, drama, or rom-com for life!  You’ve saved on ticket prices, gas money (and emissions), high food costs, and can create a great ambiance at home!


Another benefit?? With next-gen technology, your video platform will benefit you with services that can suggest TV and films that likely will appeal to you—again, saving you time.  More about THIS in my next article.  Until then – happy watching, wishing you a good day, and a great night!



Watch what you watch!
— Michelle Smoller

La Vie Los Angeles

When I moved to The City of Angels, I boarded a plane with three very overloaded suitcases and high hopes that my career would soar to new heights as a result of my relocation.  So far, what I can say for certain is: at least I'm unpacked and have gotten a bit of a tan.  Luckily, I also have some other exciting plans in the mix, including an entertainment project pertaining to media mavens, which I am very happy is developing well… - Unwinding from living in Manhattan is an adjustment.  I no longer wake up in the mornings with a post-traumatic-stress-pang of fear as to what the day's weather will be… and wonder how I will have to plan my day's outfit accordingly.  Instead, I just go with the flow and know that the day will be a beautiful one—you truly can take it for granted that the skies will be blue and that the sun will be bright.

I have been meeting with amazing people in this great City and feel fortunate and grateful to be making great strides.  The atmosphere in LA is very different than New York, but filled with pockets of neighborhoods that each have their own flavor and sumptuous taste to be savored.  People abide by the pedestrian-walking rules and parking tickets are given away in abundance in Los Angeles.  Tow trucks slowly peruse the streets (like sharks, stalking the seas, looking for their chum) and parked cars line most blocks, decorating even winding hills, like adornments—as though they themselves are props in a movie.

I must admit, choosing a car for some Manhattanites is like choosing a (make-believe) "lidgclyadlavl" - It's a totally unknown new thing.  Not only is it a semblance of a new toy, but also it is also a massive investment that we will be tied to—like a relationship, job, apartment (or some other large-scale commitment)—for a significant period of time.  Additionally, there are unforeseen considerations, like a car's residual value, cost of gas, monthly  insurance and more!  — When I sat in the first car I test drove, I was such a novice, I had to ask where the "door lock" button was, and also how to turn on the windshield wipers.  (The last car I owned took me from high school to college…I drove it with my mother down from Rhode Island one year to Nashville.  After university, it became a lovely leaf collector in my parents' driveway after I moved to New York City, until my parents eventually sold it years later.)  —Moving to Los Angeles, it's great to reconnect with my love of driving!  …Navigating where I go—and how I get there.  …. And, after about six weeks or so of taking up to eight Ubers a day, I am THRILLED to be behind the wheel and on the road!  (Taking so many Ubers makes you grow quickly tired of small talk!  I never realized how exhausting it could be! …. Small talk in big doses can amount to a major headache after a while, despite the lovely and friendly nature of all parties involved!)   

Los Angeles is sunny and lovely and the days seem to melt into one another in an endless sea of sunshine that imbues you with a false sense of everlasting Pause, as though no day has passed.  It often feels like the days have not ended, but just faded into another…. and time seems to meld into a beautiful mixture of sunshine-filled activities and thought that then take a moment's respite once dusk and nightfall come, only to exist once again the following sunshiny day, as though no night has fallen and no time has passed.

It's refreshing to harness my ambition and excitement here and reconnect with producers and writers.   Carpe diem!  I want to live every day to the max fully—not wake from a slumber, like a sun-kissed Rip Van Winkle, who has become rip-van-wrinkled over time.  I want to cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway, but also want to make sure I am with people in my car who are multi-tasking with me, so that we can live up to our aptitudes along the ride!  There are many paths that can lead us to happiness, and I'm here in Los Angeles finding mine –and making mine.  This is a great time to be here.

A recent New York Times article wrote about how many New Yorkers are making diasporas from New York to Los Angeles and I am definitely in great company.  While I have lived in Europe and Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, this is my first "entree" into the fabulous world of living on the West Coast…and I must say that I am thrilled to be here!  To anyone who is interested in collaborating, I hope to hear from you!  …And to anyone who isn't…. keep an open mind.  That's what I'm doing … and switching coasts ain't easy!


Wishing you a good day and a great night from sunny Los Angeles, Michelle xoxo



Diving Into A Chocolate Pudding Lake

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” #AlexanderPope 

Do you agree?  Will our lives be easier if we don't expect anything of us?  I want to talk about feeling guilty of not living up to our expectations and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves.  To my mind, without expectations we won’t savor our accomplished goals.

To work at full potential means maximizing the effort we’ve put in and having others recognize not only your skill level and talent, but also the effort and tenacity that you’ve applied.  There is an effervescent joy in the feeling of accomplishing something to full potential.

Accomplishing a goal feels like throwing yourself into a deep lake of chocolate pudding and coming out totally drenched, dripping head to toe.  You smile because everybody else can recognize that you are totally covered in that pudding.  And that you’ve reached the other side.  And have accomplished whatever you’ve set up to do with a smile.

What happens if you don’t make it?  What if you need a little help?  What if you are failing?  Maybe it’s the lake water, maybe it’s that chocolate pudding scenario.  Sometimes you are in terrain and you don’t know how you’ve got there and feel foreign.  You are in the thick of it and, all of a sudden, you found yourself surrounded by an entirely new environment.  But you dove right in because you wanted to be able to emerge triumphant and you splash that pudding off your eyes with a big white smile.

If you are failing, asking for help may seem impossible.  Nevertheless, sometimes we all need that help available to us like a helping hand.  Or maybe that hand needs another helping hand.  If you are too deep, you need a person to hold on to another person, and that person to another person, and so forth…  With additional help they can to reach far enough to pull you back in.  If you are in uncharted waters (or chocolate pudding, ha-ha) you need someone with vision at the end of that lake to see where you are.  If you’ve created a team of people, they will be able to dive right in and pull you out.  Someone can help all of you to make it to the other side, and that person will be you guardian angel.

My team and I are working on a new project.  Actually, two projects.  One of them is for a fabulous luxury show, and the other one is for a charitable foundation.  The luxury show is going to be able to highlight all of the fabulous things in life I have to show you.  My team and I can’t wait to show it all.  We’re ready to show everybody our potential and be triumphant.  We are doing it on our own, but I am definitely interested in having people reach out and be our angels.  We are going to be launching campaigns in the nearest future. So stay tune, we appreciate your support. And if we are good, we'll let you lick that chocolate off us when we are at that victory line :D May be then you'll live up to your potential, too :) 

XOXO, Michelle

Riding Your Memories Into the Sunset

Riding your Memories into the Sunset!

If we could gallop on memories and ride into the sunset, my father would always be a cowboy to me!  He was the most fun, most adventurous, most loving and wonderful and friendly man I knew!  He'd tell me stories of the Wild West and how good always triumphed over bad, thanks to the man on the horse: The Lone Ranger.  He made being a kid fun.  And he made being a young girl seem like the days ahead would be filled always with fun and excitement, endless opportunities and surprise.

This #SundayFunday is also Father's Day, and I want to remember and honor the joy, pleasure, delight, and fun I had spending time with my father, David Smoller.  When I was young, my dad and I used to go horseback riding together.  I grew up riding the two family Palominos: beautiful blonde horses, whose manes were the color of dried straw in a field.  When I was two years old, I was first placed on Bo and truly, my father could not have been prouder!  He was an amazing horseback rider, and he used to work as a horse wrangler.  He loooved horses, and imbued me with the same affection.  I remember waking up early in the mornings, so my father and I could go for rides; we'd put on thick jeans and get ready, the sweet smell of grass filling the air.

Every time my dad and I went to the stable to visit our horses, he would take peppermint out of his pocket and put it in my hand.  The horses were eating peppermint right out of the palms of our hands!  I could trust these animals because my father trusted them.  I am a great horseback rider as a result of his training because I started when I was really young.  Even now I can hop on any saddle and feel very comfortable and confident.

On the way back from the stable we would sing along with the radio and laugh.  We always stopped at this little bakery and chose pastries.  Sometimes we got éclair, sometimes chocolate chip cookies, sometimes an apple turnover…all different pastries.  Each week we would choose something different: the excitement of the choice, the tantalizing exhuberance at seeing all the scrumptious options, the delicious flavors of the decadent desserts each week.

It is amazing how fathers can shape our perspectives and how the activities can be not only special, but also very enjoyable and gratifying.  I recently found home videos of me when I was 4 years old. I was participating in a horse riding competition and I could hear my dad in the background screaming, “Go baby, go…”  I could hear the joy and the pride that he had.  Not only of me, but of the horse that was giving me the chance to compete.  At some point I could hear him say, “Win or Lose… That’s my baby!” A father's love is unconditional.

Once, when I was a little girl, I had a birthday party in our house.  We were all playing outside and enjoying the day.  My father went away for a few minutes and, all of a sudden, he came from around the corner riding a horse.  He rode down the street toward our house.  He was always doing things to make us happy, because that’s what life is about!  It’s about fun and joy!  It’s about doing your best to make others smile!  Not only to have fun for yourself, but also to bring fun to others!  It’s fun to be able to surprise other people.  Experiences like that you get to remember and cherish for the rest of your life.

 My father used to have cowboy hats and boots.  He used to wear them even with normal suits and clothes.  Those were the things that I kept for myself after he passed away because those things are very special to me.  It is great to be able to relish memories and appreciate those around you.  I was fortunate to celebrate life with my father.  I know for a fact that my father was trying to pursue fun each day of his life.  That’s why currently my team and I are working to create an organization to honor my father.  This day, #SundayFunday, goes out not only to my father, but to all fathers out there.

Happy Father’s day!

Love, Michelle

Create Your Rate! Time is Money

My belief is that we make our own value.  “Create your own Rate”

We all assert and demand our worth.  My value as a television host, public speaker, and interviewer is largely determined by what I can contribute . . . but the ability to understand how to create my rate is a balancing act that is important to understand.  It can be a tricky see-saw to have a company or organization recognize your talents & then have to negotiate your rate, but (the way I see it) there are two ways of theorizing how to approach payment.  

I think of determining your own rate, like this:

Consider any big star who has inherent known celebrity.  For example, Britney Spears.  Lets say a little rink dink used car lot in her hometown wanted to do a local commercial.  Maybe the owner contacts Britney’s manager and begs her, as a small-town favor, to be featured in their little commercial.  

There are two different scenarios that I consider:

Lets say Britney Spears’ usual rate for an appearance is $500,000.  In the first situation she might say, “Aww, they’re just a small, little business!”  In this scenario, she graciously she agrees, saying “Ok, even though my usual rate is $500,000 . . . for them I’ll do it for $10,000 as a favor.”  The car company would be thrilled . . . but, knowing that she’s willing to work at a significantly lower rate, they’re likely to say, “well, we’re so small!  Can’t you just do it for $8,000?”  Her acknowledgement that, for the particular segment, she will accept a lower rate of return, gives the small company more bargaining power.  They already know she’s just doing the segment for the spirit of it, and therefore are able to heighten their argument as a bargaining chip to get a better rate for themselves; if she is willing to do something and undercut her value by such a large amount, why not ask her to do it more, saying that they could use the break?  In reducing her rate, she actually will be pressured and valued likely in the future to do the same segment at even lesser a rate.


Michelle Smoller, knowing her worth!

Michelle Smoller, knowing her worth!

The second situation also says that Britney Spears’ usual rate for an appearance is $500,000.  In this example though she says, “But they’re just a small, little business!”  So she says, “Ok, since my usual rate is $500,000 . . . I can’t be affiliated with this project, unless they increase my rate to $750,000.”  Here, she asserts her worth.  She acknowledges her overall value and therefore realizes that, if a group really wants her to be onboard with them, that they ought to rise to her level of expectation and recognize her overall ability to benefit them and their product.

We must know our worth!  It is not easy to assert that we are valuable sometimes.  After all, if people don't know or trust you already, then how can they consider your assertion of value to have authority?  Respect yourself enough to have faith that your word itself is inherently valuable.   If they don’t know the source, how can they trust your appraisal of the value you bring to a situation?  Think about what you have to offer other people!

You have got to understand that your work—no matter what it may be—has a fiscal value.   Command the respect you think your work merits.  Determine your own worth and then assert yourself in order understand to get what you want.  In a situation where you refuse to accept a lower value (knowing you are a valuable asset), companies will have to acknowledge that you have the important skills and the significant talent that they deserve and seek.  In agreeing to rise to your rate, they validate you and understand that what they are getting is worth the price.  

Understand that your time is money and create your own rate!